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Down 28-17 going into the fourth quarter, Mountainside football came back to take down visiting Beaverton.

There's a reason every football player is taught to fight to the final whistle. It's because you never really know what just might happen.

Heading into the fourth quarter down 28-17, Mountainside High School looked to be in trouble against visiting Beaverton.

Instead, the Maverick rattled off 21 points in the fourth quarter to make it 28 unanswered points and take the Special District 2 victory 38-28.

Her are three takeaways from the Mavericks comeback victory:

Key quarter

After Mountainside turned the ball over on a muffed punt at the end of the third quarter, the momentum was swinging back to Beaverton, which led 28-17.

But a forced fumble a few plays into the final frame changed everything.

Brayden Boe, who also had two interceptions in the game, recovered the fumble and the Mavericks were in business.

Caleb Paler capped the drive with his second TD run of the game and a 2-point conversion made it 28-25 Beavers with less than seven minutes to go.

The Mavericks forced a punt on the Beavers' next possession and a few plays later, Bowen Stinson made a house call on a 56-yard run.

"They called the play in the huddle and called trap and I was like, 'Sweet, I get a chance to do something,'" Stinson said. "As soon as I got the handoff, I see a straight lane and I hit it as hard as I could."

The touchdown plus the PAT made it 32-28 with a TD run by Aaronrey Simpson in the final two minutes to ice the game at 38-28.

The run game was powerful for the Mavericks, who made a concerted effort in the second half to get more touches after only having 98 yards on the ground at halftime.

Mountainside finished with 317 rushing yards as a team.

"Our offensive line, I mean holy crap," Mavericks coach John Mannion said. "I don't know what the stats were, but how hard they blocked and how much we were able to run the ball there, it helped our defense, it helped everything."

Getting their chance

PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Mountainside's wide receiver Keenan Speer-Johnson (3) makes a touchdown catch Oct. 1, 2021, against Beaverton at Mountainside High School.

Mannion recalled how last year's squad was pretty senior heavy, leaving many of the players stepping into the starting role without much experience in that position.

Combine that inexperience with a tough schedule and it's no surprise Mountainside entered the game 1-3 and 0-1 in SD2 play.

But with reps and confidence comes a will to win and the ability to do it as well.

"We know every week that weren't not necessarily going to have more talent than our opponent, but we talk about being great at what we can control and that's how hard we play," Mannion said. "It was a pretty awesome sight tonight."

Stinson is one of those seniors and plays both ways as he also picked up the final interception on the night.

Running alongside a fellow senior in Paler, who had 179 yards rushing and two TDs to lead the Mavericks, Stinson knows this is their final chance, and he appreciates the whole team staying in to fight no matter the situation.

"Honestly, I'm impressed. The effort they give every day is insane," Stinson said. "Even when something goes wrong, they screw up, they bounce back as fast as they can and it's incredible how much they've adapted to being on varsity."

Defense the difference

PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Mountainside's Quinn O'Connor (7) runs by Beaverton's Hayden Eiguren (11) on Oct. 1, 2021, at Mountainside High School.

While Mountainside's rushing attack put points on the board, the second-half defense from the Mavericks is what truly sealed it.

With 125 passing yards at the break for Beaverton's Hunter Borton, the Beavers looked like they could move the ball at will.

But following a third quarter touchdown pass, the Mavericks came out with a new energy, picked Borton off three times and forced the one fumble. Borton finished with 235 yards passing with two TDs and four INTs.

"Defensive effort, I couldn't be more proud of my defense than in that last bit of the game," Stinson said.

Now the goal will be to extend that defensive effort to a full game for both sides as Beaverton played solid defense up until the frame.

Up next for Mountainside is a top 10 test against No. 8 Sunset, while Beaverton has a potentially even tougher test against Jesuit.

Both squads will need to bring their defensive effort if they want to have a chance.

And for Mountainside, after a win like it had on Friday, no matter how much they get behind, a comeback is always possible.

"I've said all along, our guys are our good guys," Mannion said. "(Beaverton is) a good team, they obviously have some talented players, but our guys ponied up and played big when the game was on the line."

Austin White
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